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Farrukhi Sistani

Farrukhi Sistani
Ali ibn Julugh

Died1037 or 1038 (aged 57–58)
OccupationCourt poet
EraMedieval, Ghaznavids, 10th or 11th Century

Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani (Persian: ابوالحسن علی بن جولوغ فرخی سیستانی‎) (c. 980 – 1037 or 1038[1]) was a 10th- and 11th-century Persian royal poet of the Ghaznavids.[2]

As an ethnic Persian,[3] he was one of the brightest masters of the panegyric school of poetry in the court of Mahmud of Ghazni. He started his career by writing a qasida called "With a Caravan of Robes" (in Persian: با کاروان حله) and presented it to As'ad Chaghani, the vizier of Saffarid king of Sistan. This poem was so beautiful and masterful that Farrokhi was admitted to the court. Here is the opening line:

با کاروان حُلّه برفتم ز سیستان
با حُلّهٔ تنیده ز دل، بافته ز جان
bā kārvān-e holle beraftam ze Sīstan
bā holle-ī tanīde ze del, bāftē ze jān
Metre: – – u – u – uu – – u – u –[4]
"With a caravan of robes I departed from Sistan.
With a robe spun from the heart, woven from the soul."

The next day the king went to his ranch where he used to party and brand his new young horses. The vizier described to Farrukhi the setting of branding of horses. Farrokhi went home and, based on the description and without seeing the actual scene, wrote a new poem called "Branding Place" (in Persian: داغگاه‎, dāq-gāh). The next morning he went back to the vizier and recited the poem. The vizier was so impressed that he immediately took Farrokhi to the king. When this poem was recited to the king, he gave 40 young horses to Farrokhi as a gift. The opening line is:

چون پرند نیلگون بر روی پوشد مرغزار
پرنیان هفت رنگ اندر سرآرد کوهسار
čūn parand-ē nīlgūn bar rūy pūšad marq-zār
parniyān-ē haft-rang andar sar ārad kūh-sār
Metre: – u – – – u – – – u – – – u –
"When the meadow puts indigo-dyed silk on its face,
the hills put seven-coloured silk on their heads."

Farrokhi was also a master of music and could play the barbat (lute) and sing. He later moved to the court of the Ghaznavids, first Mahmud and then his son, Mas'ud.

Farrokhi's dīvān of 9000 verses has survived. He died in 1037 or 1038 CE.

A sample of his poetry

فسانه گشت و کهن شد حدیث سکندر
سخن نو آر که نو را حلاوتی است دگر
fasāne gašt-o kohan šod hadīs-e 'Eskandar
soxan now ār ke now-rā halāvat-ī-st degar
Metre: u – u – uu – – u – u – uu
"The story of Alexander the Great has aged and become a legend;
Renew the story, since the new has a sweetness of its own."


  1. ^ FARROḴĪ SĪSTĀNĪ, ABU’L-ḤASAN ʿALĪ, J. T. P. de Bruijn, The Encyclopædia Iranica, []
  2. ^ Ghaznavid Panegyrics: Some Political Implications, Julie Scott Meisami, Iran, Vol. 28, (1990), 34.
  3. ^ Farrukhi Sistani, C. L. Huarte, The Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. II, Ed. B.Lewis, C. Pellat and J. Schacht, (E. J. Brill, 1991), 809.
  4. ^ See Persian metres.
  • Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature. Reidel Publishing Company. 1968 OCLC 460598. ISBN 90-277-0143-1

See also